Choosing the right accountant can be the difference between thousands of dollars saved or thousands of dollars owed. This refers to both the money you save in time, tax benefits, and even stress. When picking an accountant to hire, make sure you know who you’re working with and that their experience aligns with your needs.
Questions to Ask Your Accountant Before Hiring Them
Among the nearly endless list of questions you could ask your accountant before hiring them, there are some vital questions you should know the answers to and feel completely comfortable with.
1. What accounting services do you provide?
Believe it or not, not all accountants provide the same services. Sure, it’s safe to say most accountants provide basic tax and audit services, but you’d be surprised at how different those services can be depending on the industry and types of clients they work with. You will want to know whether your accountant is familiar with your types of needed services both personally and for your business. Are they experienced in your industry, and do they work with similar clients as you? This will give you an idea of how well aligned their experience is with your needed services.
2. How much experience do you have?
Some people will do just fine hiring an accountant who just started building their practice fresh out of college. Others with more technical services needed will want to make sure your accountant has a solid 5+ years of experience working in your industry and with similar minded professionals. This will eliminate the mistake of hiring an underqualified firm whose best interest is nothing more than doing whatever it takes to acquiring more clients.
3. What types of clients do you work most with?
Does your accountant work with families only? Do they work with local small business owners? Or do they work with large businesses? Do their clients have high net worth and large incomes? The answers to these questions will give you an idea of whether their experience and clientele align with your needs.
4. How do you communicate with your clients?
Perhaps one of the most important and beneficial characteristics of a great accounting firm is how they communicate with you and keep you informed. Do they meet with you monthly, quarterly or semi-annually? Do they make it a priority to always keep you updated on their work for you whether you asked for it or not? Ultimately, are you able to sleep soundly at night without wondering whether your finances are kept in order?
5. Who will be doing the work for my account?
Often you meet with the president of the firm, but the actual work will be done by their employees. This emphasizes the importance of vetting the people who will ultimately oversee your accounts. If your account is going to be a hired employee getting paid minimum wage with no prior experience, you may wish to look elsewhere if your accounting needs are much more technical.
The Right Accountant Is Worth the Time & Money
Making sure you understand who you’re working with and who you hire to manage your finances is one often worth paying a premium for. Don’t turn down a great accountant because their fees may be slightly higher than the mediocre competition, because the charged fees are minimal in the amount of time, money and headache they will save you. Understanding the answers to these 5 questions will give you a great idea of who you should hire and why you can trust them.
Here at DataMath we know how important these details can be when hiring an accountant. We have worked with numerous businesses in many different industries. Our average accountant or even bookkeeper has 5 or more years of experience. If you own or manage a business in Lexington, KY, we would love to sit down and see if we can help your business.